Most Non-Profit Organizations are volunteer run, and require a marketing strategy that appeals not to sales but instead to people.
With this in mind I would like to talk about how NonProfits can bolster their fundraising with Social Media, and how important it is to have a presence online.
Most national NonProfits have already embraced this strategy. March of Dimes, JDRF, Relay for Life. While these charities do monumental work for our nation, local NonProfits do a lot of great work also.
They just don’t have the manpower or the know-how to implement a Social Media plan.
Using Social Media can greatly generate interest with the cause of an organization, bolster volunteer help, and allow grant-givers to see what the charity is all about and give them money to continue their mission.
The key with helping smaller NonProfits is to recognize the amount of labor that is available to use. What I mean by that is that in some local charities there is really only one or two full-time people that do most of the ground work for the foundation. Since Social Media takes time and effort to do, it has to be fit into these people’s schedules.
That means that if they work on one project for 10 hours a week, and another project for 20, they only have 10 hours a week to devote to Social Media and other miscellaneous tasks.
Now that is WAY overshooting it. Most NonProfits only have the labor to afford 3 hours to Social Media a week, if that. But you get what I am trying to say (I hope).
So if you are developing a Social Media plan for a NonProfit, try to assess how much time they will have to create content and reply to their followers. After figuring the amount of labor they can provide, you may then tailor a plan that will fit their schedule and accomplish their needs.
Facebook is a good place to start, but if they don’t already have a Facebook you have a LONG way to go. The next is a Twitter account.
I know you are thinking, “But Alex, how will anyone know about them and actually follow them? And won’t their tweets get buried under everything people post?” (if you aren’t just play along). Well Jeez my extremely loyal reader, I am getting there. Have some patience.
I joke, but these are serious questions and I am glad you asked. Twitter is easy to use and requires little to no tweaking to make a good account. This makes it easy to create content, post it, and let people see what the organization is all about. It also requires only a small amount of time to put it all up and to reply to followers.
Getting more followers requires following important figures in the community, coordinating with volunteers who are on the site already to follow and promote the organization’s account, and promoting the account on the organization’s website.
While it is true that Twitter has A LOT of traffic, using hashtags to coordinate tweets about individual events that the organization hosts will allow people to find the content.
Vine is also an important tool to use in conjunction with Twitter. It provides quick, easy to make video coverage of an event that can be released quickly to many followers.
Facebook is a great way to get people motivated for long-term projects and to get people involved with the mission. Also it allows communication to and from core volunteers and team leaders through the use of Private Groups. It is an easily accessible area where videos, pictures, documents, and announcements can be posted at one time for everyone to see. No more mass emails or text messages that get brushed off. Notifications for Everyone!
Instagram is a good platform, but not necessarily essential. It is a great way to put emotionally moving pictures up and pull people to your cause. You can also do this on Twitter and Facebook though, which is why I deem is not as necessary. If you disagree then make one just to spite me. The more content on the more platforms, the better your chances.
If you have a dedicated writer I would suggest a blog. It doesn’t have to be daily (like mine), but it should be regular. It allows for a more concise overview of what the organization is about and how it helps in the community. It also would allow for you to give behind the scenes information about the organization, which helps with transparency and public trust.
In the end, it really requires for the creator of the plan to do their homework. Get to know the organization you are working with. Figure out their strengths and weaknesses. Determine how much time they have and how tech savvy they are. These will all play into how you should design their Social Media.
Also don’t hesitate to tell them they need to get out and do some work with other NonProfits. While the organization may have a specific mission, other charities do some good work also. Networking like this allows contact with key volunteers who may help spread the word about the organization.